COVID19: Chief urges people to follow 'stay at home' measures
Norfolk’s Chief Constable has called on communities to comply with new government measures, restricting people’s movements, to tackle coronavirus.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey said there was now "no room for complacency” after the government last night (23 March 2020) ordered people to stay at home to stop the spread of the disease.
Public gatherings of more than two people who do not live together are prohibited and shops selling non-essential items have been ordered to close.
New legislation has been introduced giving police powers to disperse public gatherings and fine those who do not follow the rules.
Mr Bailey said: "The measures taken so far to limit social distancing have not had the necessary effect, with some people still going about their business as if the threat from coronavirus didn’t exist. I was staggered to hear that Wells was packed with visitors at the weekend. We all need to work together to protect our NHS and other public services so that we can ensure we can help you. There is no room for complacency.
"The vast majority of people in this county are making real sacrifices to help save lives and I would urge everyone to now comply with these measures.
"Officers will continue to be out in their communities, speaking to people as we always do and taking the opportunity to explain the new rules and ask what people are doing and why they are out. We will continue to work within our traditional policing model, with the consent of the public. The vast majority of the public understand why we may need to use the new powers, but we will of course negotiate and convince before resorting to the law.
"These new measures are there to save lives and protect our loves ones. We will be enforcing them, as the public would expect and want us to.
"My call to the communities of Norfolk is to following the advice, stay at home and help us help the national effort.”
People should only leave their homes for one of the following four reasons;
- Shopping for basic necessities, such as food or medicine and infrequent as possible
- One for form of exercise a day, for example a walk, run, or cycle, alone of with members of your household
- Any medical need, or to provide care or help to a vulnerable person
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
What does this mean for me?
- Police will need to engage and encourage compliance and may disperse groups of more than two people who do not live with one another. Those who refuse may face a fine.
- New powers will come into effect on Thursday (26 March) in the meantime officers will approach groups and stress the importance of following these rules.
- Non-essential shops will be closed by Trading Standards – officers will support them if necessary.
- Play parks and churches will be closed by local authorities.
- Day-to-day policing continues
COVID19: Public Enquiry Office Closures
Norfolk Constabulary is continuing to refocus the force and best protect communities, whilst also managing the demands of Covid-19 in line with our policing priorities.
Following the latest guidelines from the Government, all our Public Enquiry Offices will close to the general public from 2pm on Tuesday 24 March 2020.
Members of the public who need to attend a Public Enquiry Office will have a direct telephone number to access counter staff during normal office hours. This number is displayed on posters at each location. Those that have to attend a police station to answer bail or present documents should attend the required location and call the number as displayed.
If you need to report a crime, or attend a Public Enquiry Office outside of office hours, you will have access to the yellow phone on the outside of the building. This will connect callers to the Contact and Control Room. However, with the current focus on hygiene and social distancing, we would urge people to only use these phones in an emergency.
Instead, we would encourage people to report non-urgent crimes or concerns via online reporting at www.norfolk.police.uk.
Please only dial 999 in an emergency, or if you believe a crime to be in progress. Non-urgent crimes can be reported via 101 but where possible we would encourage the public to report matters via our website.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey said: “Unprecedented circumstances are going to test the constabulary over the coming weeks and months and whilst public engagement is extremely important to us, our focus is firmly on front-line policing and those crimes which cause most harm. By changing our approach we are aiming to ensure we protect the most vulnerable at this complex and continually changing time.”
Norfolk Police also regularly update their social media accounts with the latest news, general advice and guidance on a number of issues, including personal safety, fraud and home security. You can find us on Facebook or Twitter @NorfolkPolice
COVID19: Information and advice
The coronavirus outbreak which began in Wuhan, China, is still a rapidly evolving situation. On Thursday 30 January the World Health Organization declared this as a global health emergency with UK Chief Medical Officers continually reviewing the UK response to it. This response is being led at a national and local level by Public Health England.
The NHS and partners are continuing to work together around their response to UK cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately to them.
Locally, Norfolk Resilience Forum partners are meeting regularly to discuss the potential risks and impacts for Norfolk and are well-prepared to respond to incidents.
Norfolk Police will continue to review the situation and are following all advice from Public Health England.
If you have any health concerns, check the NHS website for up-to-date advice and guidance, and for regular updates on travel information, symptoms and precautionary measures.
If you are concerned that you are unwell or unsure about your symptoms, review the online 111 NHS advice.
PHE has published some frequently asked questions on the coronavirus which can be found here.
Please find a link to community guidance posters in a number of languages.
COVID19: Public urged to keep outbuildings and vehicles secure
Police are warning residents and businesses to keep outbuildings and vehicles secure after a number of thefts in the county.
Two sheds were broken into in the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston area over the weekend with household products and food stolen.
A car was also broken into in Gorleston and groceries were taken from inside.
Superintendent Mike Britton said: “We have seen a few cases of thefts where household and food items have been targeted by people we believe are taking advantage of current events.
“I would urge home owners to ensure they lock and secure sheds and insecure outdoor buildings and motorists should not leave items on display in vehicles.
“I would also encourage any businesses who have to leave outbuildings unattended due to working from home or self-isolation, to take extra security measures at this time to stop opportunistic thieves.”